Inventory Site Record

Hampstead Cemetery * (Camden)

Brief Description

* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens

Hampstead Cemetery was founded by Hampstead Burial Board, which was established in 1873 when the graveyard at St John-at-Hampstead became full. A 20-acre plot of land was purchased and the cemetery was laid out and planted by Joseph Meston, who had previously worked on Victoria Embankment Gardens. The cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of London and opened in November 1876; further land was added in 1901. Over 60,000 people have been buried here, representative of the many well-known and artistic people attracted to the area over the years, and there are many fine monuments. The oldest graves are close to the main paths.

Practical Information
Site location:
Fortune Green Road
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
Mon-Fri 7.30am/Sat 9am/Sun & Bank Hols 10am. Closes: 4pm(Jan/Dec);5pm (Feb/Nov); 6pm (Mar/ Oct);7pm (Apr/Sept);8pm (May/Aug);9pm (June/July). Xmas10-2
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail/London Overground/Tube (Jubilee): West Hampstead then bus. Bus: 28, C11
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.camden.gov.uk

Full Site Description

Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list

Land in Fortune Green was enclosed by the Lord of the Manor in the C19th, part of which was acquired in 1874 for Hampstead Cemetery. The cemetery was founded by Hampstead Burial Board when the graveyard at St. John's Hampstead (q.v.) became full. The Burial Board, established in 1873 to find land for the new cemetery, purchased the 20-acre plot in February 1874 for £7,000. The grounds were surveyed by Joseph Bazalgette and laid out and planted at a cost of £2,500 by landscape architect Joseph Fyfe Meston between 1874-6. The grounds were divided in half by a public footpath with iron railings. Meston had collaborated with Alexander McKenzie on Victoria Embankment Gardens (q.v.). Architect Charles Bell, later buried here, won the design competition for the cemetery, which included the chapels and Gothic entrance lodge c.1876; the cemetery is entered through iron gates and a formal main avenue leads to the porte-cochère of a pair of linked chapels by Bell in the Decorated style, the Church of England chapel to the south, and the Non-conformist chapel to the north, the latter now used as a store.

Hampstead Cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of London and opened in November 1876. The Burial Board ceased to exist in 1895 and the local council took over its management. It was extended in 1901 when 5 acres were added next to the north-east quarter. Other walks run parallel to the main avenue and converge at a roundabout. The oldest graves are close to the main paths, the north-east corner has some modernistic monuments. The cemetery initially had 30 gardeners maintaining the grounds, but despite the lack of this staff complement today it retains its garden atmosphere and has numerous trees including a large cedar and a mulberry. Over 60,000 people have been buried here, among them the rich, famous and artistic who settled in Hampstead, and there are many esoteric monuments. These include the pink granite sarcophagus in the Egyptian style for James Wilson (d.1906), an engineer who had worked in the Egyptian Government Service for 43 years.Particularly fine tombs include that of Marthe Goscombe John (d.1923) and Sir William Goscombe John (1860-1952), a Welsh sculptor who worked in the 1890s under Rodin in Paris. Their monument has a headstone and bronze figure by Sir William for his wife within a rectangular stone kerbed plot with crazy paved infill. Inscribed steps are surmounted by a sculptured bronze female figure in flowing robes with her head covered by an enveloping shawl, moving away from the spectator, her head turned for a final backward glance with fingers of her right arm raised to the lips. Jacob Arnhold's monument has a pedestal with stone figure and cast-iron railings c1903: a sculptured shrouded figure kneels behind with torso appearing over top, left arm supporting head with closed eyes and right hand supporting an inscribed urn, the top of the headstone inscribed, "How good! How kind!/And he is gone!". Charles Barritt (d.1929) has a monument with a life-size stone church organ, the seat, stops, music and pipes all realistically depicted. Martha Bianchi's walled monument was erected by an Italian chefat the Café Royal to his opera singer wife, who died in childbirth in 1936. It includes a large sculptured figure in Futurist style of the deceased as an angel with outspread wings and arms raised. Flanking the gateway are carved relief panels, that to the left depicting the couple in contemporary clothes, sitting on a bench in paradise, she holding a baby, inscribed "Oh for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still". The righthand panel depicts the deceased in flowing robes, ascending heavenwards supported by 2 flanking wingless angels against a background of a cloud with emanating rays; in front of the gateway is a ledgerstone with plaque inscribed with a poem "To Mattie in Heaven". Sir William Randal Cremer (d.1908) has a granite obelisk; originally a carpenter, he became a prominent trade unionist and pacifist, was Secretary of the International Arbitration League for 37 years and opposed to class warfare; he resigned when the committee declared for revolution; he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1903. Eleanor Adgey Edgar has a cross with low relief carving of a female figure in flowing robes, c.1926. The Fletcher family monument commemorates Sir Banister Fletcher (d.1899), an architect, architectural historian and author of 'A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method'; the memorial was by his son, Sir Banister Flight Fletcher, who is also buried here. It takes the form of a Classical Baldacchino with figures of seated women in flowing robes supporting an inscribed plinth surmounted by a canopy of 4 Ionic columns supporting an entablature, with projecting cornice and crowned by a flaming urn. Mordaunt Allen Gwynne's tomb has 3 sculptured angels on a plot raised by kerbing c1910 by EH Mills, monumental mason of Hampstead. Others buried here include the poet Arthur Frankau (d.1904), his wife Julia and son Gilbert, both novelists, their vault has an inscription from Tennyson; Sir Joseph Lister (1827-1912) the originator of antiseptic surgery and Professor of Surgery at Glasgow Infirmary from 1861, whose tomb was erected at the time of his wife's death in 1893; Marie Lloyd, Cockney music hall singer (d.1922); Joseph Maas, a Milan trained opera singer who became principal tenor at Her Majesty's Theatre. His tomb is one of the earlier ones in the cemetery, c.1886. Joan Moggridge, Celtic cross c1904 in terracotta on stepped terracotta base, with high relief moulded panels depicting a vine with grapes on south face, north face has similar design but including a panel of doves on the shaft. The family grave of Mr. & Mrs. W.R. Rider of Hampstead's elaborate headstone of c1901, marble and bronze with simplified Ionic pilasters on columns supporting a pediment with central square-headed panel rising behind; panel, forming centre of headstone, with bronze plaques inscribed with lettering; top plaque with ears of corn. Storey Family, headstone c.1919 with central recessed panel with carved high relief of an angel rising upwards in swirling robes, with arms outstretched and long hair flying out around her. Arnold Stuart & family, a pinnacled octagonal tower c1921 by CFA Voysey with buttressed angles, central octagonal column originally surmounted by a bronze eagle of which only the feet now remain. James Wilson Pasha & wife, pink granite chest tomb in the style of an Egyptian temple c1906 by A MacDonald & Co. with 6 lotus columns supporting the top, coved cornice of incised leaves with a winged scarab above the inscribed end panel. James Wilson was an engineer in the service of the Egyptian government for 43 years. Ardath de Sales Stean, stone female figure in flowing robes, c.1928. There is a circular garden of remembrance near the boundary in the north east.

The Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England was established in 1984 and was commonly called English Heritage. In April 2015 it split into 2 separate entities, Historic England (HE), which continues to champion and protect the historic environment, and the English Heritage Trust, whose role is to look after the 400+ historic sites and monuments owned by the state. HE manages the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) that includes over 400,000 items ranging from prehistoric monuments to office blocks, battlefields and parks, which benefit from legal protection.

Sources consulted:

NHLE Register: C Brooks 'Mortal Remains' 1989; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Marianne Colloms and Dick Weindling 'The Good Grave Guide to Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green', 1989. Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); John Richardson, 'A History of Camden. Hampstead, Holborn and St Pancras' (Historical Publications, 1999)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ251856 (524897,185614)
Size in hectares:
9.3165 (EH: c15?)
Site ownership:
LB Camden
Site management:
Islington and Camden Cemetery Services; Friends of Hampstead Cemetery
1874-76; 1901
Joseph F. Meston
Listed structures:
LBII*: Tombs: Marthe Goscombe John & Sir William Goscombe John. LBII: Mortuary chapels; Tombs: Jacob Arnhold, Charles Barritt, Martha Bianchi, Sir William Randal Cremer, Eleanor Adgey Edgar, Sir Banister Fletcher & family, Arthur Frankau & family, Mordaunt Allen Gwynne, Sir Joseph Lister, Marie Lloyd, Joseph Maas, Joan Moggridge, Rider Family, Storey Family, Arnold Stuart & family, James Wilson Pasha & wife, Ardath de Sales Stean.
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

NHLE grade:
Grade II
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance I
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Private Open Space

Hampstead Cemetery *

Hampstead Cemetery with Monument to Sir Banister Fletcher, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

Hampstead Cemetery with Chapels and Porte-cochère, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
Hampstead Cemetery, August 2002. Photo: S Williams
Hampstead Cemetery with Monument to Charles Barritt, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

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